Ceramic Industry News

SGL Carbon Year Profit Falls Below Expectations

German graphite maker SGL Carbon AG recently reported a net profit of nine million euros ($8.4 million), falling well short of analysts' expectations and sending the company's shares down over 2%. SGL Carbon, which made a 38 million euro net loss in 1999 amid provisions for price-fixing charges, said German accounting rules prevented it from cutting its tax burden with deferred tax credits on losses at some subsidiaries. The company, which is switching to International Accounting Standards (IAS) at mid-year, said annual operating profit eased 2% to 96 million euros on a sales rise of nearly 30% to 1.26 billion euros. Full-year pre-tax profit came in at 31 million euros compared to a 43 million-euro loss in 1999. SGL said the operating profit slip was due to a loss at its fibre and composites division, which is making heavy investments in new technologies such as fuel cell components and carbon ceramic brake discs. Operating profit at the group's other three divisions -- carbon and graphite, specialty graphite and corrosion protection -- climbed 17% overall.

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